OPA-LOCKA – Miami-Dade County commissioners approved a final step that will provide funds for the Opa-locka Community Redevelopment Agency, a move that springboards economic development within the city’s CRA boundaries.
“Our immediate focus is to address the processes that will ensure the CRA’s success,” said Opa-locka CRA Executive Director Newall J. Daughtrey. “Developing sound accountability measures among governmental agencies will help us attract economic development to our community.”
Created to address crime, dilapidated structures and economic distress in Opa-locka, the CRA includes 3,574 of the city’s population. Its 295 acres cover about 18.8 percent of the city’s land mass. The CRA boundaries include residential neighborhoods of Magnolia North, Magnolia Gardens, City Center and commerce areas in the Opa-locka and LeJune Industrial Parks.
“Although a long time coming, the creation and implementation of our CRA will be a catalyst in helping revitalizing areas which have long been neglected,” said Vice Mayor Joseph L. Kelley who also serves as Board Chairman of the CRA.
Hired by Opa-locka officials to produce a study, Carras Community Investment Inc. released a finding of necessity, which confirmed the presence of unfavorable conditions in Opa-locka in 2010.
Led by County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, the county established the Opa-locka CRA in December 2012. The recent unanimous vote, approved the CRA plan, created the trust fund and finalized the agreement between the county, the city and the CRA.
Tax increment financing is a reimbursement-based funding mechanism that uses future gains in taxes to finance infrastructure improvements. Money collected from the special financing is placed into a trust fund. The concept enables the CRA to direct the revenues back into the targeted area.
The city plans to use the CRA as a tool to change the way people perceive Opa-locka. “We want to transform the way people perceive Opa-locka into a place that’s attracts people to live, work and play,” said Mayor Myra